The 20 Most Important Types Of Reading

The types of reading

Reading is a pleasure for millions of people in the world, and along with writing, it is one of the cognitive skills that has allowed human beings to begin to be able to record and understand what has happened before their own existence: the invention of Writing, and with it reading, entails the passage from prehistory to history, and even before this there were already communicative acts at a pictorial level that could be “read.”

But reading is an activity that can be carried out in different ways and for different purposes, something that allows us to talk about a large number of reading types. Throughout this article we are going to give an account of them.

Main types of reading (and their characteristics)

There are many different ways that we can find to read and understand written material. Although we are not going to indicate all the existing types of reading, below we will see the main ones that can be carried out.

1. Oral reading

We know as oral or vocal reading that type of reading in which the subject externalizes through the voice what is read. In other words, oral reading is what we do when we read aloud.

It is usually used when reading something to another person or when we intend to use sound as a memory cue or as a method to be able to concentrate on the content of the reading even in less than optimal conditions.

2. Subvocal or silent reading

Silent or subvocal reading is called reading that is carried out silently and internalized. We do not produce any sound, although we reproduce it mentally.

It is a type of reading that requires the ability to concentrate and that requires a certain mastery of the ability to read fluently, since it goes directly to interpreting the visual material without translating it externally into sound (passing it directly internally). .

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3. Speed ​​reading

Speedy or superficial reading is characterized by being carried out quickly but without stopping or going deeper into what was read. It allows us to get an idea of ​​what we are reading, the theme and perhaps the basic structure, but in a general way and without taking into account deeper or more complex aspects.

4. Sequential reading

A reading that is carried out without haste and taking into account the entire text, without skipping anything but without stopping to reflect in depth on any of its sections.

5. Intensive reading

Another type of reading is intensive, which implies that an extensive and conscientious reading of the entire text is carried out and in which Every detail has been reviewed exhaustively.

6. Involuntary or unconscious reading

Involuntary reading, as the term tells us, is what occurs unconsciously and without the subject’s will to read the content.

This reading implies a certain capacity for reading comprehension, since requires being able to process the written message before we even realize we are reading. This is what happens when we read something by accident. An example can be found in almost any advertising product, since it is something that is used in marketing with outgoing stimuli and with little writing.

7. Mechanical reading

We call machine reading that which is carried out automatically but voluntarily, transforming written symbols and messages into sounds. It goes from graphemes to phonemes. However, It is not necessary that there is even an understanding of the message. It would be the first of the types of reading that are learned, since it is the necessary previous step to be able to understand what has been read.

8. Comprehensive or receptive reading

Comprehensive reading is characterized by the fact that the material read is understood by the reader, in such a way that the act of reading involves the integration of knowledge and a valid interpretation of the material read. Understanding means be able to draw conclusions from material extracted from the text after grouping the material read and extracting the main ideas of the text. It also requires having sufficient machine reading capacity to exist.

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9. Selective reading

Similar to speed reading, selective reading is characterized by the fact that the reader does not analyze the entire text, but instead performs a skip reading based on the most relevant parts such as the concepts considered key, the titles or elements that the reader is interested in. searching directly.

10. Reflective reading

Reflective reading is characterized by the fact that through reading the text the person who reads it is able not only to draw conclusions and assess the adequacy of the text, but also to It can also allow you to think and reflect on your own knowledge deficiencies and strengths beyond what can be extracted and valued from the material itself.

11. Literal reading

This type of reading is characterized by the fact that the information extracted from the text is processed without making any type of inference, so that only what the written words directly mean is taken into account. The possible existence of double meanings or different interpretations is not assessed beyond what the message explicitly means.

12. Inferential reading

Unlike what happens in literal reading, in inferential reading we start from the material that is implicit in the text, even if it does not appear directly in the text.

The ideas and meanings obtained are used not only from the direct text but also from the context in which the material is produced, the possible intentions of the writers or the knowledge that the reader has about it. Allows you to establish conclusions that are not found in the text itself as well as interpreting double meanings and other meanings of the content.

13. Critical reading

Critical reading implies an inferential reading of the written material to which in turn an evaluative nuance is added on the part of the reader: It is about not only reading but analyzing the text. In addition to interpreting written information, not only what is written is evaluated and judged, but also what can be extracted from it, and especially whether what is read is valid and reliable according to the reader’s point of view and criteria.

14. Informative reading

We consider informative reading to be that whose main objective is the obtaining and/or transmission of knowledge, the purpose of the reading act being to incorporate the data obtainable from the material. It is not intended to be entertaining or enjoyable, although it may be secondary.

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15. Recreational reading

Recreational reading is mainly characterized by the fact that It is carried out for the sole purpose of entertainment and enjoyment without intending to receive real information or improve knowledge (although this can be achieved, it will not be the real purpose of reading but rather a secondary benefit).

16. Scientific reading

We can call scientific reading that which aims to be of interest and application at a scientific level, which implies a comprehensive and critical reading in addition to the realization of an extensive search for information that can be verifiable. It also aims to obtain knowledge, generally on a specific topic identified previously. It may include reading and interpreting statistical data and formulas from different scientific disciplines.

17. Phonetic reading

Phonetic reading is characterized by not being based so much on the search for meaning in the content and written material but is based more on working on the sound, articulation and phonetics with which the words are read.

18. Musical reading

Musical reading is a type of reading that differs from the rest in the fact that in its case the symbology that is interpreted does not focus on searching for a meaning at the concept level, but mainly provides information about a sound, in addition to its rhythm and the melody in which it should be read. It is the type of reading through which musicians interpret the scores.

19. Braille reading

Braille reading is a type of reading that has the peculiarity that it is not based on the interpretation of symbols perceived through vision, but rather the symbology used to read is perceived through touch. This system is the main reading mechanism that the blind population has.

20. Pictographic reading

Pictographic reading is called that reading activity in which the subject does not interpret graphemes in the form of letters, but rather reads from images and pictorial symbols that represent specific ideas. In reality, the first forms of written communication were of the pictographic type, since examples of it could be found practically since prehistory.

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